Why Things Are The Way They Are

by : Greg Reid

Things are the way you think they are, because you think they are that way. An interesting statement I know, but let’s break it down a bit if you will, and see what this Really means.

When it’s all said and done, “things" do happen right? In fact there is a bumper sticker that I am sure you have all seen which had been the National catch phrase that really summed it up in a more colorful manner....&#IT Happens! Remember that one?

Well, this got me to thinking...you know what? That sticker is right, life is going to throw us a few curve balls now and then. I believe that is simply a part of life itself. It’s not really a matter of If something challenging is going to come our way or not, but only when these things are going to arise. Now if this is an agreed upon statement, let’s continue down this road a bit more...

Since things are going to happen anyway, shouldn’t we maintain the most Positive solution searching attitude toward them for when they do? I mean, it beats the alternative doesn’t it? And have you ever noticed that no matter how dreaded the situation seemed at the moment, over time it is realized that it wasn’t so horrible after all? I tend to refer to this as “mid-night thinking“, you know, when we lay awake in the middle of the night worrying over every little thing, every little sound, every problem or situation that we possibly could, and then in the morning we realize that everything is fine and we laugh at ourselves, wondering what the heck we were worrying about in the first place?

For, when daylight comes, or any light is cast upon our crisis, (like reality) it’s our Interpretation of the experience, not the experience itself that determines the emotions we attach to it. And even more importantly, it’s this reaction (the way in which we respond to adversity) that others determine our character as a person to others. What do I mean by this? Well, simple really...we learn more about someone's character on their bad day-when things go wrong, far more than we can learn about them while everything is going right. Let’s face it, it’s easy to be all happy and go-lucky when things are going your way, but it’s when the chips are down that we learn what we need to most about who they really are as a person.

A dramatic illustration of this was unfortunately on 9-11. Why did mayor Guliani and president Bush’s support and approval rating go through the roof on this infamous day? It was Because everyone saw how they dealt with crisis, and then the world took notice and applauded their strength, gaining the respect of the Nations by the way they handled their horrific situation.

Some saw this tragedy as something that would pull the American people apart, others, especially the aforementioned, saw it as an opportunity to pull us all together. Things were the way they Thought they were, because they thought they were that way.

An adverse example would be where we've all seen (great) things, wonderful things, happen to others, like someone getting a promotion at work that some would dreamed of, and then heard them say under their breathe in a sarcastic tone, “well...it looks like now I’ll be having to work more than ever, whoopee...great promotion." never appreciating the opportunity being bestowed unto them.

Compared once again in a brighter light to when we’ve seen tragedies that most would run from, and witnessed people rise to the moment and make the most of it, learning from the experience if nothing else, what we will never tolerate again.

What’s the true difference here? I believe it comes down to this, we have two choices, 1.) We can let the situation dictate our attitude, OR 2.) We can let our ATTITUDE dictate the situation. The best part is, the choice is ours.

Now with this in mind, for the next time things come up, and come up they will...write down this simple little message and keep it with you, or even better, write it down twice, once for yourself and another to share with someone you love.

“Things are the way you think they are, because you think they are that way."

Keep Smilin'


You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated - send to: GregReid@AlwaysGood.com